Staying Close

Hosea 5:5-6
And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.  They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.

It is such a horrible feeling to feel ignored or unappreciated.  When we do something special for someone else and they don’t really acknowledge it, it’s easy to feel hurt by that.  When we give our best to someone else and they are indifferent about it, that affects our relationship with that person.  And so when the nation of Israel continually turned their backs on God after all that He had done for them, when they chose those idols after He’d gone to extremes for them, imagine how He must have felt.  After they’d entered into that special covenant relationship with Him to obey His laws and follow after Him, that rejection surely was hurtful.

Surely it’s the same for us today.  God has given us so much.  In fact, He gave His beloved Son Jesus for us.  And when we’ve accepted Him and entered into that special relationship with the Lord, imagine how He feels when we ignore Him or turn away from Him or choose other things over Him.  He’s gone to such extremes to show us His love.  He gave the best He could give, so much more than we deserve, so surely it hurts Him when we’re indifferent and ungrateful for that precious gift.

God had been so patient with His people.  He is a longsuffering God.  For years He showed them mercy as they continued to sin.  He sent prophets with warnings for them.  He reminded them of His Word and all that He had done.  And still they made that choice to forsake Him, until finally He just let them be and brought His judgment upon them.  But what about us?  Do we notice when God is trying to get our attention?  Do we realize when He’s pulled away from us, or can we not even notice the lack of His close presence as we continue on in our sin?

Often it’s pride that gets us to this place.  So often we just want to have our way no matter what, and we don’t want anyone telling us what to do.  We can become so focused on ourselves that what others do for us doesn’t even matter.  But may we live with a constant awareness and acknowledgment of God and all that He does for us.  Not only has He given us that special gift of salvation, but He continues to pour His blessings into our lives.  So let’s not get to a place where we’re so consumed by everything else that we don’t even realize when God has had to withdraw from us.

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